Experts at the second edition of the Business Equilibrium Forum organized by Africa Centre for Economic Dialogue (ACED)
Analysts have said Uganda has great potential in agricultural production but the value chain system especially the marketing part is so clumsy.
This was revealed during the second edition of the Business Equilibrium Forum organized by Africa Centre for Economic Dialogue (ACED) at Nob Hotel, Ntinda on Friday.
Organized under the theme ‘Building an ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship’, the experts observed that Uganda should fix the agricultural value chain and marketing ecosystem to be on top of the game.
According to the experts, government has no political will of making agriculture Uganda’s biggest brand.
“Uganda’s agricultural products are highly on demand in Europe, Asia and Australia. What we should be focusing on is how we help our farmers to grow consistent products marketable,” said Frank Namudenyi, the Executive Director Fruit and Venture Exports.
According to Namudenyi, there is a huge gap in the value chain and market research.
“In the market, South Africa has a niche, we can also try because Uganda grows agricultural products randomly without enough research for markets,” he explained.
Namudenyi adds that very few firms doing agricultural production are certified by Global Agricultural Certification (GAPC).
“Every crop grown here is of high value and Kenyans buy here and repackage them for export (to higher markets),” he added.
Robert Musenze, the Executive Director of Africa Coffee Academy said that Uganda is losing its brand to neighbours who import coffee from Uganda and repackage it for bigger European and Asian markets.
“Uganda didn’t patent its coffee across the international market unlike our neighbours Kenya and Tanzania,” he noted.
He says the government is very slow unless they join forces as stakeholders, Uganda’s coffee will continue to lose its visibility and brand.
“We have to brand the whole country as an agricultural state just like other countries dealing in oil and gas,” he said.
Uganda is the second largest producer of coffee after Ethiopia in Africa and the second leading producer of organic crops after India.
John Robert Okware, the Chief Relations Officer, Opportunity Bank urges that agriculture is the biggest industry Uganda has and authorities should start looking at it critically.